The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 14  Carolina Panthers vs Atlanta Falcons Sunday afternoon game on December 8, 2019 at 1 pm ET.
22.5Implied Total25.5
26.726Points All./Gm26.927
65.224Opp. Plays/Gm62.513
39.9%13Opp. Rush %43.6%26
60.2%20Opp. Pass %56.4%7
  • The Falcons are 7-2 straight up and against the spread against the Panthers under Dan Quinn, including five straight wins and covers.
  • Atlanta has lost five consecutive home games, the longest home losing streak in the league and their longest such streak in a season since 2007.
  • 42.7% of the points scored by the Falcons this season have come in the 4th quarter, the highest rate in the league.
  • Matt Ryan has been under pressure for 45.0% of his dropbacks over his past five games, the third-highest rate over the span. Over his first six games of the season, Ryan was under pressure for 34.6% of his dropbacks (17th).
  • Carolina has multiple sacks on defense in 11 straight games, the longest streak in the league and a franchise record.
  • The Panthers quarterbacks have been sacked multiple times in every game this season, the only team in the league. 
  • The Panthers have allowed a rushing touchdown in nine consecutive games, the longest streak in the league and their longest streak as a franchise since going 11 games in 2009.

Trust (spike production for that player)

  • Christian McCaffrey: He has been so dominant he made a 102-yard, 17.2-point fantasy day a disappointment. McCaffrey has run the ball 36 times for just 108 yards the past two weeks, but has still hit 100 yards from scrimmage in six straight games and in every non-Tampa Bay game this season. McCaffrey has had 191, 178, and 139 total yards over his past three games versus Atlanta, catching double-digit passes in all three. 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s average)

  • D.J. Moore: Since Week 5, Moore ranks fourth among all wideouts in targets (84), catches (54), and yardage (719). He’s found the end zone three times over the past two games after scoring in three of his first 26 career games. Moore has been a top-20 scorer in five straight games and in seven of his past eight, including an 8-95 game three weeks ago against the Falcons on 15 targets.
  • Calvin Ridley: Ridley has seen his usage spike with all the injuries to the Atlanta passing game, receiving 20% of the team targets in each of the past three weeks, catching 22-of-32 targets for 319 yards and a touchdown. Both Julio Jones and Austin Hooper could return to take some targets this week, but the Panthers are allowing 15.2 receptions (31st) for 178.1 yards (27th) to opposing wideouts per game. Ridley had a season-high 143 yards when these teams played in Week 11.
  • Julio Jones: Jones missed his first game since 2016 last week with a shoulder injury. The Falcons have stated they aren’t entertaining shutting Jones down and that he could return this week. Jones hasn’t found the end zone since Week 3, but the same matchup described for Ridley applies here. Jones caught 6-of-8 targets for 91 yards when these teams played in Week 11. If Jones is out, then Russell Gage is back on the board as a WR3/FLEX option.
  • Devonta Freeman: The Falcons are 30th in the league in rushing and have struggled to run on anyone, including the Panthers two weeks ago with great game script. Atlanta backs carried 22 times for 59 yards in that game, but did manage a touchdown. Freeman didn’t play in that game and has yet to score a touchdown on the ground this season, but this would be as good of a chance to do so as the Panthers have allowed a league-high 22 touchdowns to opposing running backs with 19 coming from the running game. 
  • Austin Hooper: After missing the past three games with an MCL injury, Hooper returned to practice Monday in hopes of getting back on the field this weekend. The Falcons haven’t guaranteed he’ll play, but if he’s back in action then he’s back in play as a TE1 option. Prior to injury, Hooper was the highest-scoring fantasy tight end tied for a league-high 56 receptions and six touchdowns. 


Bust (down-week production for that player’s standards)

  • Kyle Allen: It hasn’t been pretty, but the points count the same. Allen has been the QB6 (23.1 points) and the QB9 (23.3) the past two weeks after failing to post a QB1 scoring week over his previous seven games. Over the past four weeks, Allen is averaging 43.8 pass attempts per game. Allen struggled versus Atlanta three weeks ago, throwing four interceptions and zero touchdowns. It was just one of three games in which he has failed to throw a touchdown pass. Atlanta is still 26th in passing points allowed per game (17.3), but have allowed just one QB1 scoring week over their past five games and 7.5 yards per pass attempt after allowing 8.4 yards per pass attempt over their first seven games of the season. The concern with Allen now that Rivera has been let go is that a quarterback change could happen next or during any game.


If You Must (intriguing bench option or deeper league play)

  • Matt Ryan: It’s come to this for Ryan as he’s no longer a set and forget fantasy option. He hasn’t been a QB1 in a game since Week 6 and has dealt with increased pressure due to a deteriorating offensive line. He’s thrown for fewer than 7.0 yards per pass attempt in four of those five games, but the one in which he did was versus this Carolina team in Week 11 when he averaged a season-high 10.0 yards per attempt. Ryan is a home favorite in the third-highest game total of the weekend. 
  • Curtis Samuel: Nothing has changed for Samuel; it just depends on your palate for variance. Samuel has cleared seven targets in three games all season and cleared 70 yards just twice. But he leads the team with a 15.4-yard average depth of targets and has a team-high seven end zone targets and five touchdown receptions.
  • Ian Thomas: With Greg Olsen’s status in doubt this week, Thomas is a potential streaming option. He had four receptions for 24 yards after Olsen exited Sunday and Thomas was a top-12 scorer in four of the final five games in 2018, averaging 6.4 targets per game. Atlanta has allowed seven TE1 scoring weeks on the season.

More Week 14 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet:

DAL at CHI | DET at MIN | BAL at BUF | SF at NO | IND at TB | CIN at CLE | DEN at HOU | WAS at GB | CAR at ATL | MIA at NYJ | LAC at JAX | TEN at OAK | KC at NE | PIT at ARI | SEA at LAR | NYG at PHI